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'Nothing concrete would come out of FIR against Mukesh Ambani'

February 18, 2014 08:38 IST

'Nothing concrete would come out of FIR against Mukesh Ambani'

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Sanjay Jog in Mumbai

The First Information Report (FIR) filed by the erstwhile Delhi government against Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) Mukesh Ambani and others over gas pricing has evoked mixed reactions. 

In an exclusive interview with Sanjay Jog, RIL director and Supreme Court advocate Y P Trivedi, who is also a Nationalist Congress Party MP, alleged that the measure was to politicise the issue in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.

Edited excepts:

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Image: Mukesh Ambani
Photographs: Reuters
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'Nothing concrete would come out of FIR against Mukesh Ambani'

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What do you have to say about the move to file an FIR against RIL CMD Mukesh Ambani? 

It is only an attempt to sensationalise the issue. Gas price fixation is a highly technical matter on which the empowered group of ministers has taken a view.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has taken a view and experts have given their opinion.

The Rangarajan Committee has also given its verdict, which is accepted by the government. Whether it is retrospective or not is a part of arbitration and is thus sub-judice.

Today, the country is importing oil and a large chunk of foreign exchange is spent on it. If we want to be self-sufficient in oil and gas, then we have to have foreign direct investment in the field of exploration and production.

Unless we give them an attractive price, they will not come. Oil exploration is a very uncertain field.

Even after discovering a well, you might not get the oil and gas. In such a dicey situation, the cost is going to mount. Delhi's former chief minister Arvind Kejriwal should have had a research team of technocrats to advise him on this complicated subject. He has only sensationalised the issue without proper study.

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Photographs: Reuters

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'Nothing concrete would come out of FIR against Mukesh Ambani'

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What about the timing of filing the FIR?

Arvind Kejriwal has an eye on the Lok Sabha elections. Therefore, he has taken this step. He has miserably failed to deliver on his promises during his 49-day government. If he would have continued to give good and honest governance, people would have supported his government.

The AAP-led government also cited a CAG report which alleged irregularities by RIL in the KG D6 project, including an increase in capital expenditure. What is your comment?

Kejriwal has referred to the CAG report, which he has not studied thoroughly. In its report, the CAG has not talked about gas pricing but items of expenditure put up by RIL in costing.

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Image: Arvind Kejriwal
Photographs: Reuters

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'Nothing concrete would come out of FIR against Mukesh Ambani'

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The Delhi government's anti-corruption branch alleged in its FIR that the Centre''s approval of RIL's expenditure of $8.8 billion to increase production of gas from the KG basin has paved the way for a "future windfall" revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore. What is your response? 

The stock exchange knows better than Arvind Kejriwal. If RIL would have to make such a windfall gain, the price of RIL shares would have been Rs 5,000. But it has not happened because the stock exchange knows better. This shows totally irresponsible behaviour on Kejriwal's part. 

What would be the fate of the FIR as the Kejriwal government has now resigned? 

Nothing concrete would come out of the FIR. The court would throw it out. There are no material facts. For filing the FIR, you do not need any expertise. No charges would be framed.


Photographs: Reuters

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